Temporary restraining order on Providence speed cameras denied

By: Rebecca Turco

Email: rturco@abc6.com

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – The fight to put the brakes on Providence’s speed cameras in school zones has hit a bump in the road.

A federal judge denied a temporary restraining order Tuesday, thus allowing the city to continue issuing speeding tickets during the class-action lawsuit.

Judge John McConnell, Jr. told attorneys on both sides the speed cameras are upholding an existing state law, but added there may be problems with the language of the summons being mailed to offenders.

"If it’s defective, you don’t have proper notice under the law, therefore every adjudication from that summons is null and void,” Peter Petrarca, the plaintiffs’ attorney, said outside the U.S. District Court in Providence.

Petrarca believes those drivers should be paid back for their tickets. He is also arguing the summons, as written, could affect drivers’ insurance rates.

"Imagine you getting a ticket and you say well it doesn’t affect my insurance rates so I’m just going to pay it,” he explained, “But had you known it affected your insurance rates, you might have sought counsel or you might have fought it. That’s the biggest issue. That’s why the summons is the endgame."

The city’s lawyers told the judge none of those fines have been reported to the DMV. Around 20,000 tickets have been issued since January.

Now both sides are heading to mediation to see if they can settle this out of court.

The city’s lawyers had no comment for ABC6 News.

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